Forest Park borrows money to finance full-scale LED lights installation
The Village of Forest Park, Illinois, could soon be a whole lot brighter. According to Forest Park Review, the Forest Park Village Council recently voted to borrow a substantial sum in order to convert all the city's lights to more energy-efficient LED lights. The village will be borrowing $1.8 million from the Forest Park National Bank.
"The village has taken an absolute step in the right direction," said Mayor Anthony Calderone. "There's no doubt that our raw energy costs will go down and LEDs have so much more life expectancy."
Calderone is accurate in his claims about LED lights. According to ENERGY STAR, LED lights use at least 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulb types. Additionally, LED lighting lasts 35 to 50 times longer than incandescent lighting, allowing city officials to save on maintenance and replacement costs.
Early estimates have suggested that by converting to LED streetlights, the city could save approximately $8,000 over the first year of the installation and an additional $200,000 over the next decade. In addition to installing LED streetlights, the village has more than 1,200 fixtures that will need replacing, including alley lights and traffic lights.
Village officials hope to secure $400,000 in grant money from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which rewards energy-efficient projects completed between spring 2012 and spring 2013, the news source reports. While they await the results of their eligibility for the grant money, village officials were willing to accept the low interest rate - of no more than 3.5 percent - on the 10-year loan from the Forest Park National Bank.